Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Timothy Patrick Moran -- Unveiling Inequality: A World-Historical Perspective

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

McKinney Conference Room

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"Unveiling Inequality: A World-Historical Perspective," with Timothy Patrick Moran, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Sociology, Stony Brook University, SUNY.

General interest in patterns of economic inequality has grown significantly over the last two decades, due in large part to world-wide concerns about the distribution of winners and losers over the course of globalization. In this presentation, Moran argues that our understanding of such phenomena changes fundamentally once the relevant unit of analysis is shifted from the nation-state to the world as a whole. More specifically, he advances a theoretical framework that helps to understand the relationship between patterns of inequality within- and between-nations. He argues that inequality is best understood as a complex set of relational interactions that have unfolded over space and time as a truly world-historical phenomenon. For example, the same institutional mechanisms through which inequality historically has been reduced within some nations often have accentuated the selective exclusion of populations from poorer countries, thereby enhancing a high inequality equilibrium between nations. In the end, he argues that ascriptive criteria centered on national identity and citizenship are the fundamental contemporary basis of stratification and inequality in the world.

Location: McKinney Conference Room, Watson Institute, 111 Thayer Street.